BJP eyes West Bengal

Two seats and a vote share of 17.6 per cent in the recent Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal and the expectation of doing better in the 2016 Assembly polls have motivated the BJP to step up its activities in the State.

The party has begun an aggressive outreach programme in West Bengal and is hoping to sustain the ‘Modi wave’ that helped it secure a stunning victory across the country.

In the last Assembly polls in 2011, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) had swept the polls and left others, including the BJP, with a minuscule vote share. But the BJP is now capitalising on the toehold that the general election offered it in the State and on the anti-Trinamool sentiment, highlighting the lack of growth and development in the State and wooing voters with a promise of a turnaround in the job and manufacturing sectors.

And while it has been decorous in its interactions with regional satraps elsewhere, there is no such deference being shown to the TMC in West Bengal. The message to party workers is to go all out and prepare the ground for the 2016 Assembly elections.

“There was rampant rigging in the State during the Lok Sabha elections and the TMC’s vote share of 39 per cent is actually 29 per cent. The BJP’s performance has been very good if you add that 10 per cent that was rigged. Ground assessment in the State shows that people are yearning for a change and the BJP is an option that voters will consider,” a party functionary said.

The party is not only buoyed by winning the two LS seats, but it came second in three — Kolkata South, Kolkata North and Malda South — and was third in 30 seats. The party sees this as an indication of its growing acceptance. To increase its presence the BJP sent out a delegation from here to assess the violence that broke out in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district last month.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 1:39:56 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata//article60389893.ece